Album Review: "Crime Pays" Thunderhead

Still very much woven into the tapestry that makes up a familiar pattern. Confused?  Yo!...we are laying down the quilt of Hard Rock, something that THUNDERHEAD are very much part of. 

Crime Pays (or doesn't?) is the third, gritty son-of-a-bastard from - to quote the gushing press release - the "German/American Metal machine." Sounds like some kind of heavy, industrial building wrecking equipment.

This ragged, hard-hitting crew might not stray much further than  from A to B in the musical alphabet, but there's just enough energetic spark to ensure Crime Pays isn't a criminal waste of time. 

Their salvation lies in the sharply focused,  no-frills twin guitar attack of Ted Bullet (also vocalist) and Henry Wolter. And then that's coupled with the odd half-decent choon… Then there's hope yet. One of those choons is Live With It, with a slightly deceptive, sparse,  lifting intro. 

New York You Let Me Down Last Night also passes muster with a nifty little chorus. Forgive and Forget You is worth a spin, not only for the subtle harmonies (it's usually a throaty yell!)  but for setting an example to any males on the end of fickle feminine attentions.

Actually, there's quite a bit of macho breast beating throughout the album;  no more so than on the overwrought title track, epitomized by the gravel gargle, spit-'em-out vocals of Mr. Bullet.

Crime Pays lacks both lyrical and musical finesse and imagination. It's committed stuff alright, but way too stodgy for my palette. Still, if you're partial to bands like AC/DC  and JUNKYARD, then you might get something out of this. One of those better-to-see-'em-live bands .


Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
January 1992
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